President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is to start a 12-day diplomatic tour today, during which he will visit Paraguay to attend the inauguration of its new president and visit Taiwan’s allies in the Caribbean.
Ma will lead a delegation to the inauguration of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Vice President Juan Afara on Thursday. After that, he will visit Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Prior to those trips, Ma will visit Haiti to be appraised of the recovery process in the country since it was devastated by a massive earthquake in 2010. This will be Ma’s first visit to Haiti since he became president in 2008.
During a stop in New York during his tour, Ma will also meet US Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, and ranking committee member Eliot Engel.
Ma will go to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in New York, becoming the first Republic of China president to visit the association that represents Chinese-Americans living in the Greater New York metropolitan area. He will also host a dinner for more than 300 Taiwanese expatriates.
While in the US, Ma will also meet high-level business executives to exchange views on the world economy and is also scheduled to visit the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and New York University, where he studied.
The president will return to Taiwan on Aug. 22 and give a briefing on his tour that day.